Edinburgh supporters will get their first opportunity to watch new head coach Michael Bradley in action and to sample the all-new Murrayfield match-day experience when Newcastle Falcons visit EH12 for a pre-season friendly on Friday 26 August (kick-off 7.30pm).
The tie will see Bradley, who took the reins earlier this month, plot the downfall of a side whose current playing roster features one-time Edinburgh captain Ally Hogg and who are coached by Scottish rugby great Alan Tait.
The capital crowd will also have the chance to enjoy a raft of new initiatives aimed at making Murrayfield a more atmospheric home for the club’s supporters and players, with seating provision being moved to the east stand and pitch-side standing areas introduced so that fans are closer to the on-field action.
A new public bar and food facility will also be open behind the east stand in season 2011/12, with Edinburgh players dropping by post-match to catch up with supporters.
“I’m on record as saying that it’s a privilege to be Edinburgh head coach, and I’m delighted to now have our first home game lined up and have something tangible to be working towards," said Bradley.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to know the squad when they return on 6 June, and to pushing hard with them across the summer to ensure we’re in the best possible place when the challenges of the new season arrive.
“Newcastle will be a tough test for us, but that’s the sort of game you want in pre-season: one that is beneficial for the players and attractive for the supporters.”
Craig Docherty, the Edinburgh chief executive, confirmed: “We’re very pleased to be welcoming Newcastle Falcons to Murrayfield.
“It promises to be a great night, not only because of the appeal of the fixture itself, but because we’ll be putting in place for the first time measures we’re confident will improve our fans’ and players’ experience of the stadium.
“The bottom line is that we want Murrayfield to be a place where our fans and our team are excited about being based, and I’m looking forward to both groups benefiting from the changes we’ll see in the coming season.”
Ticket information for the Newcastle Falcons fixture will be confirmed in due course. Edinburgh will play one other match in pre-season, against Sale Sharks at Edgeley Park on Friday 19 August (kick-off 7.45pm).